Veterans on the roster bubble for all 32 teams

Are Devin Hester's days numbered in Atlanta? Will the Giants have to cut Andre Williams? NFL Nation reporters select the veteran who might not make the 2016 roster of the team they cover.

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills

Kicker Dan Carpenter

The Bills restructured the contract of their veteran kicker this offseason to reduce his base salary and tweak his roster bonus so that he must make the 53-man roster in order to be paid. That's a sign Carpenter is on the roster bubble after missing six extra points in 2015. He faces competition from last season's kickoff specialist, Jordan Gay, as well as undrafted rookie Marshall Morgan. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Running back Daniel Thomas

The Dolphins re-signed the former second-round pick this offseason, but chances aren't great for Thomas to make the 53-man roster. The Dolphins drafted rookie Kenyan Drake in the third round to pair with projected starter Jay Ajayi, which moves Thomas further down the depth chart. It also wouldn't be surprising if Miami looked into adding another veteran running back (Arian Foster?) late in free agency. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

Wide receiver Aaron Dobson

The 2013 second-round pick faces increased competition after the free-agent addition of Chris Hogan and then the drafting of Malcolm Mitchell in the fourth round. Once thought of as a possible top outside threat, Dobson could be on the outside looking in when Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are added into the receiver mix. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Cornerback Dee Milliner

The fourth-year cornerback, drafted ninth overall in 2013, has declined steadily in stature, mostly because of injuries. Right now, Milliner projects as the fourth cornerback -- at best. If he can't stay healthy or struggles, the Jets could bite the bullet ($2.1 million in guarantees) and let him go. It's the final year of his contract; the team declined his fifth-year option. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Safety Matt Elam

He is in danger of becoming the first Ravens first-round pick to get cut before his rookie contract expires. Elam struggled with tackling and defending deep passes, which led to him being benched midway through the 2014 season. After missing all of last season with a biceps injury, Elam is battling Terrence Brooks and Anthony Levine for one of the last roster spots. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Wide receiver Brandon Tate

Like clockwork, year in and year out, we question the status of Tate -- as it pertains to the Bengals' roster. Maybe it's because of the four straight one-year deals he has been forced into signing each March. Any time a player is being signed that regularly to such a short-term contract, it gives the perception he isn't well-regarded by his team. So annually, Tate ends up on Cincinnati's roster bubble. Because of the Bengals' general dearth of experience at receiver this year, Tate's job is probably safe once again. But depending upon how quickly rookies Tyler Boyd, Cody Core and Alonzo Russell progress in training camp, it isn't guaranteed that Tate won't wind up on the bubble again. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns

Linebacker Barkevious Mingo

The Browns are putting a lot of effort into making it work for Mingo, but the fact they did not pick up his fifth-year option says something. Mingo can run, but he has yet to translate his athletic skills into success expected of the draft's sixth overall pick. If he does not respond in camp, his job could be in danger. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tight end Matt Spaeth

The Steelers' roster is pretty well-defined. There aren't many obvious roster casualties. After blocking for the Steelers for seven of his nine NFL seasons, Spaeth might be nearing the end. The Steelers have two primary options with Ladarius Green and Jesse James, plus they just signed David Johnson, who's mostly a blocker, and they like former USC standout Xavier Grimble as a fringe roster player. The Steelers keep bringing back Spaeth because of his steady play and understanding of the offense. But when roster cuts force tough decisions, Spaeth could find himself in a vulnerable spot. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

Safety Quintin Demps

The Texans don't typically wait until training camp to make decisions on their key veterans. They've already made several moves, releasing quarterback Brian Hoyer, running back Arian Foster, tight end Garrett Graham and safety Rahim Moore before their offseason program even began. Demps is the only veteran who could be pushed. He started 13 games last season and returns on a one-year deal. The Texans drafted safety K.J. Dillon in the fifth round. While it's likely Demps will keep the rookie at bay, he could face a challenge during the season as Dillon becomes more comfortable. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts

Defensive lineman Arthur Jones

Jones has not lived up to expectations after signing a five-year, $33 million contract with the Colts in March 2014. That's hard to do when you've spent the majority of your time on the sidelines nursing injuries. Jones has played in only nine games in two seasons with Indianapolis, and there's no guarantee he'll be ready for the start of training camp because of an ankle injury that he's still recovering from. Here's further proof that Jones' status with the Colts is up in the air: He had to restructure his contract earlier in the offseason to lower his base salary for next season from $4.5 million to $2.5 million. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Safety Josh Evans

Evans has made 36 starts over the past three seasons at free safety, but the team signed Tashaun Gipson to be the starter, and the Jaguars are giving other players reps at that spot on the second team. Evans doesn't have Gipson's range, so he may have to make the team as a special-teams player. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Wide receiver Justin Hunter

Hunter often looks good in the summer and timid in the fall. His fantastic athleticism hasn't helped turn him into a consistently threatening outside option, something the Titans need badly. Maybe he finally makes a leap with Terry Robiskie as offensive coordinator and Bob Bratkowski as receivers coach, with a deeper group of wideouts pushing him. But general manager Jon Robinson seeks receivers who run precise routes and don't drop the ball, and those qualities don't describe Hunter so far. The team added Rishard Matthews in free agency and Tajae Sharpe in the draft, and if Hunter doesn't break through, he could certainly disappear. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos

Punter Britton Colquitt

Colquitt, who has been with the team since he was signed to the active roster on Dec. 30, 2009, has seen the team use a draft pick on a punter -- a seventh-round pick last month to select Riley Dixon -- and Colquitt has a $4 million salary-cap charge for the coming season. Those two items put him squarely on the bubble. Colquitt was at the top of his game in the team's postseason run to win Super Bowl 50, but the Broncos appear poised to move on if Dixon shows enough in offseason work. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Running back Knile Davis

The Chiefs drafted Davis in the third round in 2013 to be the eventual replacement for Jamaal Charles, but that's now unlikely. Davis is third on the current depth chart behind Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West and will drop to fourth once the rehabbing Charles returns to the practice field. Davis is the Chiefs' only proven kickoff returner, but it's a stretch to think they would keep him on the regular-season roster when that's his only duty. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders

Running back Roy Helu Jr.

In the non-D.J. Hayden category, let's look at a position group that added a couple of players who resemble our candidate, one via the draft in DeAndre Washington and another in undrafted free agent Jalen Richard. Yes, Helu could be on the bubble because Latavius Murray is the featured back, the Raiders still have speedster Taiwan Jones, and Washington and Richard have similar skill sets to Helu, who was not seen during the team's initial voluntary organized team activities practice. -- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers

Nose tackle Sean Lissemore

With the addition of nose tackle Brandon Mebane, Lissemore has been relegated to a rotational player in San Diego's defensive line group. Lissemore turns 29 in September and is set to make $1.75 million in 2016, so the Chargers could look to younger and cheaper alternatives. Lissemore also missed five games last season -- staying healthy has been an issue for the New Jersey native. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys

Safety J.J. Wilcox

Wilcox has started 29 games the past two seasons at free safety, but the Cowboys have decided to make Byron Jones a full-time safety and already have Barry Church at strong safety. In the offseason, the Cowboys signed Jeff Heath to a four-year extension worth nearly $8 million. Wilcox, a third-round pick in 2013, is entering the final year of his contract and is set to count $1.8 million against the cap. He missed far too many tackles last season and struggled with awareness in coverage. The Cowboys drafted Kavon Frazier in the sixth round with the idea of him being part of the future. Wilcox could have to earn his way on the roster. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Running back Andre Williams

It would be a surprise to see the Giants cut bait on a draft pick after only two seasons. But Williams had a rough 2015, and the selection of Paul Perkins in the fifth round complicates matters a bit. The running back group already includes Rashad Jennings, Williams, Orleans Darkwa, Bobby Rainey and Shane Vereen. There are people on the coaching staff who still believe Williams can be productive. But if he struggles in camp and Jennings stays healthy, the Giants could face a tough choice here. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles

Guard Allen Barbre

Barbre started 16 games at left guard for the Eagles last season and is "my guy," according to new coach Doug Pederson. But the Eagles drafted guard Isaac Seumalo in the third round and added Stefen Wisniewski to a group of contenders for the spot. At $1.95 million for 2016, if Barbre isn't starting, he is not likely to be on the roster as a backup. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins

Offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus

The third-round pick in 2012 started 11 games at center in place of injured Kory Lichtensteiger last season. LeRibeus struggled with snaps and snap counts, leading to some issues. Since Lichtensteiger is healthy, and with Washington trying Spencer Long at center, there might not be a spot for LeRibeus, who was re-signed to a one-year deal this offseason. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Wide receiver Marquess Wilson

At 6-foot-4, Wilson is talented but often injured. Since he arrived in Chicago in 2013 (seventh-round draft choice), Wilson has missed 20 games. His lack of durability is an issue. With Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal sitting atop the depth chart, there is expected to be fierce competition for the final two receiver spots. Wilson is in the mix along with veterans Marc Mariani, Josh Bellamy and Deonte Thompson, but those three all play special teams. Wilson, though, has never thrived on special teams, and is therefore vulnerable when Chicago eventually pares down the roster. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Long-snapper Don Muhlbach

Muhlbach will have true competition for his job for the first time in a while after the Lions drafted Jimmy Landes in the sixth round. Muhlbach is considered a high-end snapper, but the Lions invested a pick in Landes. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Punter Tim Masthay

Masthay has been the Packers' punter since 2010. Only once since he won the job did the team put him through a training-camp competition. That came last summer, when he held off Cody Mandell. Despite setting a team record for net punting average (40.2), the Packers weren't happy with how Masthay hit the ball, especially late in the season. So it looks like he'll be in another battle to win the job. The Packers signed undrafted rookie Peter Mortell of Minnesota to compete with Masthay. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Offensive tackle Phil Loadholt

Loadholt is returning from a torn Achilles tendon, and the Vikings signed Andre Smith in the offseason to possibly start at right tackle. It's difficult to imagine the Vikings keeping two veteran tackles on one-year deals, with several backup spots likely going to players with more versatility. That could mean Loadholt gets released in training camp, with a chance to catch on with another team. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons

Wide receiver Devin Hester

Hester, the NFL's all-time-leading return man with 20 career touchdown returns, says he believes he still has enough left in the tank, even at age 33. At the same time, Hester told ESPN.com he would understand if the Falcons cut him if he's not able to fully recover from offseason toe surgery. He was at 75 percent heading into the second week of organized team activities. "If my toe isn't ready, then I can't fault them for letting me go because it's a business," Hester said. He is due $3 million this season, and that would be hard to justify if Hester can't contribute. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Defensive tackle Kyle Love

The Panthers have done a good job of keeping the roster fairly young this year after having a couple of key older veterans during last year's Super Bowl run. Love could be the odd man out in the four-man rotation after the Panthers drafted Vernon Butler in the first round. Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei are the starters, with Butler and free-agent acquisition Paul Soliai expected to back up. Carolina may want to develop a younger player for a fifth tackle -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Right tackle Zach Strief

The last remaining member of New Orleans' stellar 2006 draft class, Strief will have to fend off 2015 first-round choice Andrus Peat to keep his starting job. Coach Sean Payton said he envisions Peat as a starter this year -- it just remains to be seen whether he'll start at right guard or right tackle. It's possible Strief will remain on the roster even if he is a backup, though, because his leadership is so highly valued. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cornerback Alterraun Verner

Verner was a Pro Bowler with Tennessee but was benched last season for inconsistent play and was on the field mainly as a slot cornerback. He has three interceptions and 13 pass breakups in two seasons with the Bucs and is due to make $6.75 million in 2016. The Bucs also signed CB Brent Grimes in free agency and drafted Vernon Hargreaves III in the first round. -- Mike DiRocco


Arizona Cardinals

Defensive end Frostee Rucker

The Cardinals have done a good job keeping the number of veterans who may get cut to a minimum by emphasizing their personnel development on young players. If there was one player who's on the bubble, however, it could be Rucker. The 32-year-old had offseason surgery to repair an ankle injury, and with the young depth the Cardinals have built on the defensive line, he may be among the expendable options. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Running back Tre Mason

Mason found himself in the doghouse last season, when he missed the bus for a road trip to Baltimore. He didn't help his cause by producing just 2.8 yards per carry and struggling to protect the ball when he played. And he really compounded matters during the offseason, when he was arrested and charged with suspicion of possession of marijuana, reckless driving, failure to register a motor vehicle and resisting arrest. The Rams have some intriguing young backs behind Todd Gurley and Benny Cunningham, which means if Mason doesn't get it together, he could be on the way out. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers

Linebacker Ahmad Brooks

Brooks has seemingly been on the bubble with the Niners for what seems like an eternity. From legal woes to a decline in on-field production to younger players pushing for his spot, Brooks has outlasted them all. But now, working his way back into shape again and not practicing during organized team activities, Brooks is officially on notice -- again -- with Eli Harold getting his reps. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks

Running back Christine Michael

Michael averaged 4.37 yards per carry on 60 attempts in four games (postseason included) after returning to the Seahawks last year. The team traded him before the start of the season, but brought back Michael after Thomas Rawls went down late in the season. This offseason, the Seahawks re-signed Michael to a one-year deal that contains no guaranteed money. Considering they used three draft picks on running backs, Michael will have to compete for a roster spot this summer. -- Sheil Kapadia